The Green Hornet, Rio, Hancock: films on TV today

Seth Rogen has a gas as a playboy crime-fighter with a cool car, a macaw goes nutty in Brazil, and Will Smith plays against type as a decidedly unheroic superhero: the RadioTimes team’s pick of free-to-air films on TV today

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ANDREW COLLINS: FILM OF THE DAY

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The Green Hornet ★★
9.00-11.25pm C5 

In order to form an opinion, you may wish to catch the Freeview premiere of this self-consciously iconoclastic take on the superhero genre. The Green Hornet, a masked playboy who fights crime by posing as a criminal, was created for US radio in the 1930s, then adapted for film serials in the 40s and TV in the 60s. You can see the on-paper appeal of esoteric French director Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) and slacker king Seth Rogen — who co-wrote — dragging it into the 21st century. Rogen famously shed 30 pounds to play the title role, but didn’t think to change his familiar persona; the result, though sniggering and noisily destructive, will miss the spot if you’re expecting the sincerity or angst of Spider-Man or Batman. Debuting Taiwanese pop star Jay Chou brings deadpan cool to martial arts sidekick Kato, but Christoph Waltz phones in his villain and you may tire of Rogen’s childlike reaction to “cool things”.


Rio ★★★★
5.50-7.40pm C4 

After playing the founder of Facebook in The Social Network, Jesse Eisenberg started tweeting – as the voice of an animated bird captured by smugglers.


Hancock ★★★
7.15-9.00pm C5 

Will Smith saves the planet again, only this time he does it a bit grudgingly in this offbeat story of a world-weary superhero.


The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp ★★★★★
2.05-5.30pm ITV4 

Pomposity is well and truly pricked in Powell and Pressburger’s sublime portrait of the wartime comic-strip character. Winston Churchill was most unthrilled, though, and had it banned.


Date Night ★★★★
10.55pm-12.40am Film Four 

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Steve Carell and Tina Fey set the screen alight in more ways than one in this madcap chronicle of a date gone wildly wrong for an otherwise boring married couple.